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"For me, Golgotha was a unique event in my life as a composer. The decision to write the composition did not come from a deliberate choice [of material] like Rilke's Cornet or Shakespeare's Tempest, for instance. Everything, it seemed to me, forbade it, especially a true cult-worship which I had devoted since childhood (up to the present day) to J. S. Bach's Matthew Passion - but perhaps it was even more so the fact that I felt myself unworthy - utterly, completely unworthy - of treating such a topic. Nothing and no one had ever challenged me to do it. But something was called for, something I felt like a calling, and at first I strove against that call with everything I had. But the call was stronger than my resistance, and so I sat down to work …" (Letter from Frank Martin to Willy Fotsch, February 1970)
The great success of Golgotha's premiere has not waned in the meanwhile; it has taken its place in the standard repertoire of the 20th century for evident reasons.